Gee whiz question about the diaconate


#1

If a permanent deacon is widowed, is it possible for him to join a religious order or to be ordained a priest?


#2

Most probably, as any other celibate cleric of the Roman Rite could. however we would run the risk of (seeming to) downgrade the status of the permanent Diaconate to something one does if one can't become a priest or monk(I know this was not your implication but it is worth bearing in mind) whereas the permanent Diaconate has great merit in its own right.


#3

[quote="Theophorus, post:2, topic:325347"]
Most probably, as any other celibate cleric of the Roman Rite could. however we would run the risk of (seeming to) downgrade the status of the permanent Diaconate to something one does if one can't become a priest or monk(I know this was not your implication but it is worth bearing in mind) whereas the permanent Diaconate has great merit in its own right.

[/quote]

Thank you.....The Diaconate is a wonderful order with the fullness ministry assigned by God. Stephen was not martyred because he was not effective. It said he preached with power and many benefited from his ministry.


#4

[quote="ChurchSoldier, post:3, topic:325347"]
Thank you.....The Diaconate is a wonderful order with the fullness ministry assigned by God. **Stephen was not martyred because he was not effective. **It said he preached with power and many benefited from his ministry.

[/quote]

You know, I'd never though of it in quite such concrete biblical terms, thank you!


#5

I’ve heard of it happening, but generally the bishop will want the deacon to wait quite a while after his wife dies, to recover and discern. Any children will also have to be self-sufficient.


#6

[quote="L_Marshall, post:5, topic:325347"]
I've heard of it happening, but generally the bishop will want the deacon to wait quite a while after his wife dies, to recover and discern. Any children will also have to be self-sufficient.

[/quote]

This is true. Children can't be dependents of the discerning.

Also many diocese have an age limit, most are around 45-50 for priests and upwards to 65 for deacons.

I don't know if the USCCB has one or not.

Our vocations director asks for two years after any major change probably more if it was a death.


#7

About 3 years ago, I was at the priestly ordinations in Louisville, KY and there was one permanent deacon, turned widower, who was then ordained.


#8

Check the rules of your archdiocese.

In my archdiocese, a man has to wait five years after his wife's death just to apply to become a permanent deacon. I suppose that is to prevent someone from making a rushed decision during a time of grief. If my wife died, I think I would feel a strong urge to turn inward, pray a lot, and hide away from the world. But that wouldn't mean I should become a deacon. Becoming a deacon or priest is not supposed to be a way of hiding away from the world, even if you want to pray a lot.

So the waiting period is meant to give you a lot of time to clear your head.


#9

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